John Barker

John Barker

Vice President of Strategy & Competitive Intelligence
Wolters Kluwer Global Platform Organization

John Barker is Vice President of Strategy & Competitive Intelligence in Wolters Kluwer’s Global Platform Organization. In this role, John provides strategic direction for Wolters Kluwer’s global tax, legal, and regulatory content delivery platform, Global Atlas, and shares strategic product design best practices globally across Wolters Kluwer.

John has an extensive background in professional publishing, including as a Product Manager and Executive Legal Consultant at LexisNexis, a consultant, and award-winning Account Manager for Thomson Reuters. John has appeared as a keynote speaker at multiple Law Librarian Associations, and authored more than 50 articles discussing the application of technology to the practice of law. He has served as a Special Counsel for Technology at the Indianapolis law firm of Ice Miller LLP, and had a clerkship to a U.S. Magistrate with the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana

John holds a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Tulane University Law School, New Orleans, and a BA in Philosophy, magna cum laude, from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

Posts by John Barker

Should the Role of the Law Librarian in Law Firm Business Development Expand?

Written on October 27, 2014

There are several articles recommending that law firms leverage the expert search and knowledge management (KM) expertise of law library staff in business development. For example, in an article posted at Altman Weil, Nina Cunningham suggests two actions law library staff might take to enhance their role in law firm business development, namely, (1) partner closely with the IT department of the firm and (2) become an expert in the firm’s major practice groups. Partnering with the IT department is essential because IT often controls access to all KM technologies in the firm, including firm-wide portals/intranets and practice group distribution lists. Expertise in a practice area enables law library staff to create ever more relevant search alerts for members of the practice group and gain deeper insight into the preferred channels for each member to receive bizdev-related current awareness (smartphone/tablet, Intranet, RSS, social media, etc.). Another article posted at recommends that law library staff should partner closely with the firm’s marketing department – and to be sure that the marketing teams give proper credit to law library staff that help in running queries, analyzing search results, and creating profiles of clients, their competitors and the firm’s competitors. But there is much more value that the law library can provide. Read further >

Is Innovation in Large Organizations Distinct?

Written on October 13, 2014

I had the privilege of participating in a knowledge-sharing meeting held by the ILO (Institute for Innovation in Large Organizations) in Chicago. ILO’s Founder and President, Peter Themes, facilitated the meeting. Executives representing large companies in the Chicago area, as well as the UIC Innovation Center, shared best practices in making innovation work in large organizations. The group explored several themes, such as the following: Read further >

LinkedIn as a Professional’s Publishing Platform?

Written on September 26, 2014

Like many lawyers, accountants, knowledge workers, and other professionals, I maintain a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn’s investor presentations, which I recommend reading, reveal ambitions far beyond being merely a social networking space for knowledge workers. In addition to wanting to be the professional network for connecting all of the world’s professionals, LinkedIn also wants to “be the definitive professional publishing platform.” Read further >

Should Legal Citators Index Social Media?

Written on September 08, 2014

Lawyers and other legal professionals have relied for decades on legal citation indexes. These citators include the CCH Citator, GlobalCite, KeyCite and Shepard’s(R) Citations. They help legal professionals better understand whether a primary source of law being relied upon for a legal argument remains “good law.” Citators also help lawyers expand their research by locating primary and secondary sources of law that comment, explain, agree, disagree with, etc. with them. This is the research function of citators. But is it not time for citators to begin indexing social media, particularly social media created by lawyers and law firms? Read further >

Is Lex Mercatoria a New Opportunity in Legal and Regulatory?

Written on August 29, 2014

Just like parties to commercial transactions today, merchants in Europe in the Middle Ages knew that time is money. Waiting on courts and legislative entities was a money-losing option, so they created their own means to settle disputes – the lex mercatoria (see articles in Wikipedia and for an overview). The lex mercatoria, Latin for “commercial law,” took into account best commercial practices and existing laws of the jurisdiction where disputes arose. Some commercial best practices were later codified into national legal systems. Others were recognized in judicial opinions. Other customs remained, simply, customs. Read further >

Crowdsourced “Open” Innovation an Imperative for Professional Services Firms

Written on July 14, 2014

The Financial Times’s most recent Special Report on The Connected Business inspired me to think about the imperative for law, accounting, and professional services firms (PSOs) to adopt techniques of crowdsourced open innovation methods for enhancing services delivery to their clients. Crowdsourcing in the context of innovation essentially refers to submitting problems to an open or restricted community and asking for suggestions and perhaps even joint development. Winners might even get a reward as part of a contest. In the context of PSOs, the community might be the members of a corporate legal department and partners, associates and paralegals in a law firm that traditionally has provided services to them. In an era where corporate legal departments are moving more work in-house and consolidating outsourced legal work to a smaller number of law firms, open innovation methods initiated by a law firm can help a corporate legal department refine its choice of law firm service providers more accurately. Here’s how it might work. Read further >

Financial Times’ Special Report on Innovative Lawyers – AsiaPacific

Written on June 30, 2014

Valuable insights appear in the recently released inaugural Special Report from the Financial Times on Innovative Lawyers in Asia-Pacific, which follow its earlier Special Reports on innovative lawyers in the US and Europe that I have blogged about in the past. The FT observes that many law firms in the Asia-Pacific are more innovative than their counterparts in the US and UK. Several factors contribute to this: Read further >

Law Firm and Accounting Firm Self-Publishing via eReaders for BizDev?

Written on June 18, 2014

Several marketing professionals to professional services firms (law firms and accounting firms) recommend self-publishing as a way to demonstrate thought leadership to demonstrate thought leadership to retain clients, upsell to existing clients and find new clients. The biggest question is, of course, where are clients and potential clients for any given firm likely to seek thought leadership. Obvious candidates are websites; podcasts; social media (Twitter, Face, LinkedIn); email; print and digital books, journals, articles & magazines; white papers; television and radio interviews; and public hearings before state & federal government entities. And all those expressions of thought leadership are likely to be accessed via smartphones, tablet devices. I’d like to focus on the eReader. Read further >

Innovation in Action at Wolters Kluwer Canada’s Development Partners Meeting

Written on June 08, 2014

Recently I had the privilege of meeting several customers from law firms, accounting firms and corporate legal and tax departments in Toronto as part of Wolters Kluwer Canada’s Development Partners Meeting that took place on May 28. As noted in our 2013 Annual Report, the Development Partners initiative began in January 2012 with a group of 20 customers and now has expanded to more than 90. Customers who are development partners look at product concepts and indicate interest or lack thereof, participate in innovation tournaments with Wolters Kluwer team members to generate ideas, and then quickly filter them using the wisdom of the crowd, to guide us in how to help them deliver greater value to their clients. I was a keynote speaker at the meeting and presented several product ideas from our businesses around the world. The themes all revolved around helping law firms and accounting firms create more value for their clients by moving beyond only reactive tax compliance to proactive strategic tax advice. Read further >

Exploring trends, content, technology, and new ideas in the global information industry. New posts every Monday, Friday, and whenever the innovation bug inspires us. Visit to learn all about us.
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